Readers submit poetry and prose

Guest Columnist

This week we have received two contributions for the Readers’ and Writers’ Corner.

The first came from Nancy Price, who is a member of the Longboat Island Chapel Memoir Group. Price winters on Longboat Key and spends summers on Cape Cod.

The following is an excerpt from a story about the author’s travels to Morocco in the late 70’s. This piece describes a visit to a restaurant in the Kasbah.


Magical Morocco

By Nancy Price

My memories of that evening are ethereal and impressionistic. Conjuring them up is like waking up and trying to give substance to a hazy dream full of swirling snippets of scenes that you grab at fast before they recede into your sub-consciousness. As we ascended the narrow stairs to the restaurant, the first thing I remember is the soft, primeval music drifting down the tiny, narrow stairway. At the top, Jafir, our taxi driver, slides opens a tiny peek-hole and announces his guests. As the door swings wide, a kaleidoscope of fractured colors, sounds and aromas is revealed. I feel like I am back under the blanket tents my sister and I used to make using my mother’s dining room table – only this tent was in amped-up techicolor, with dripping fabrics of pulsing reds, sun yellows and dazzling blues. It feels warm inside and the light is mostly from candles which make the mirror-embossed pillows sparkle. We were warmly and graciously greeted and led to giant, bean bag-like pillows surrounding a low round table. We settle in. The wafting sugar and spice smells perfume the air and remind me that I am hungry. We eat our meal with our hands which somehow felt perfectly normal. Sated, we leaned back and let our big, fluffy pillows cocoon us. I conjure up a final shadowy memory of that evening where a small group of draped and turbaned musicians are playing wooden instruments that appear to be from another era.. In spite of the fact that the sounds were foreign to my ear, they produced the most gentle and magical music I had ever heard.

Here is a poetry submission that came in this week.

A Lonely Hammock Swings

By Patsy McLaughlin

On the sleepy shores of Longboat Key

Anchored between two leaning palm trees

A lonely hammock swings

Fanned by the warm summer breeze

It looked so inviting I curled up in its embrace

And found myself dreaming in this heavenly place

As gentle waves splashed upon the shore

My heart and soul yearn for more

Aqua blue waters on glistening seas

Orchids blooming in swaying palm trees

Bright orange birds of paradise

and robin egg blue cloudless skies

Beauty reigns on Longboat Key

A heavenly home for you and me


Patsy Carmean McLaughlin began writing poetry in her seventies through the encouragement of her Memoirs writing teacher.

The youngest of seven children she grew up on a small, family farm in Ohio. After college she married her military husband and began a life on the move. She is the mother of 3 daughters and three grandchildren. Before her husbands death in 2005 they retired to the beach of Longboat Key where she continues to write her Memoirs in both prose and poetry form.  Patsy has published a book of her poems and is working on a second book. Proceeds from the sale of the books benefit the Longboat Island Chapel.

Do you have something you’re reading or writing you’d like to share in the Readers’ & Writers’ Corner? Editorial@lbknews.com

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